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Heart of Palermo

13 caskets arrive at Empedocle port

When rescuers came to aid of an immigrant vessel, all the immigrants ran to one side of the boat. The vessel overturned. Thirteen women were drowned. Women, and their chilren, who have less money to pay human traffickers, are often locked into rooms below decks ,where they suffer from diesel fumes and go down with the ship, and their children. An unknown number of children are missing at sea and presumed dead after this accident.

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13 migrating women drown, 8 children missing during sea rescue operation

Lampedusa in the immigration news again now that ships are again allowed to land immigrants. This is from The Guardian:

At least 13 women have died and eight children are missing after a boat capsized in rough seas off the Italian island of Lampedusa on Sunday night as a patrol vessel attempted to save it.

Italian authorities have rescued 22 survivors from the boat, which was carrying about 50 people. Only four of the 13 recovered bodies have been identified by surviving family members, including that of a 12-year-old girl.

According to an initial reconstruction of events, all the people onboard moved to one end of the vessel as the rescue boat arrived, causing it to overturn. The boat, carrying mostly people from sub-Saharan Africa, had initially left Libya before sailing along the coast to reach the city of Sfax, in Tunisia, where another 15 people boarded before they continued their journey to Sicily, according to survivors.

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Court rules Salvini stand trial for kidnapping migrants

From the Guardian:

Italy's deputy prime minister and interior minister, Matteo Salvini, is one step away from facing trial after a surprise court ruling today determined that he be tried for kidnapping.

In August, prosecutors in Agrigento, Sicily, placed Salvini, who is leader of the far-right party the League, under investigation for the alleged kidnapping and detention of 177 migrants whom he prevented from disembarking the Italian coastguard ship Ubaldo Diciotti.

The ship had been docked for six days at the Sicilian port of Catania as Salvini maintained a standoff with the EU in an attempt to push other member states to take in the migrants. The Catholic church, Ireland and Albania, which is not an EU state, eventually agreed to host the mostly Eritrean migrants.

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The Golden Door

In the face of right-wing, racist  politicians who now rule Italy......

The door to Palazzo delle Aquile is covered with gold -- gold thermal blankets handed out to immigrants who are rescued from the sea. Palermo Mayor Leoluca Orlando says: "We are reminding everyone that we are engaged in defending the only race that exists: the human race."




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Danish cargoship with 100 migrants

A Danish cargo ship carrying a hundred rescued African migrants waits five miles off shore near Pozzallo for orders as to what to do. The migrants were rescued off the Libyan shore by a non-profit rescue boat and transferred to the Danish cargo ship.
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Palermo Manifesta: art on immigrants

From the NY Times:

By Kimberly Bradley

June 22, 2018

PALERMO, Sicily — Political art and world politics seldom dovetail in real time, but as the twelfth edition of the Manifesta contemporary art biennial approached, its host city of Palermo found itself walking its talk.

Titled “A Planetary Garden: Cultivating Coexistence,” the exhibition, which opened June 16, takes migration as one of its themes. And days before the international art crowd descended on the Sicilian capital, Italy’s new interior minister, Matteo Salvini, closed the country’s ports to rescue boats — including the Aquarius, a ship looking to dock in Italy with 629 migrants aboard. Read More 
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Immigrants drown on way to Sicily


From today's La Repubblica:
A large boat with 90 people aboard flipped off the coast of Libya today. It is feared they all died. Most were Pakistanis. The year is young but has already seen 246 dead, almost all headed to Italy.
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saved, they sing



The African immigrants broke into song aboard a rubber dinghy that rescued them from their unsafe craft in the strait of Sicily and brought them to the NGO immigrant rescue ship Open Arms on Jan 29, 2018
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Italian Coast Guard films harrowing rescue. 8 died.

From The Guardian 7 Jan. 2018
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320 rescued immigrants arrived Pozzallo today aboard NGO SS Aquarius

From today's La Repubblica Palermo edition;
The NGO ship Aquarius pulled into Pozzallo, Sicily's port today with 320 migrants aboard, among them many women and numerous children. They had all been rescued from the Mediterranean in the previous days. Weather conditions at sea were harsh, the newspaper reported.
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